GRANITE CITY — Lt. Ray Takmajian and Officer Eric Stacy of the Granite City Police Department had reason to be thrilled when the third annual Mr. Twist Ice Cream Guns and Hoses Fundraiser came to an end Saturday.
Takmajian and Stacy — along with several other members of the police department and the Granite City Fire Department — helped raise more than $2,000 by selling ice cream and other items at the fundraising event at Mr. Twist.
The money will be donated to Shriners Hospital for Children in St. Louis and the BackStoppers, a nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance to family members of police officers and firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty.
“It’s the third year that we’ve done this, and I think this has been the most successful,” Takmajian said. “A lot of people come out to back up and support the police department and the fire department and it was nice to see.”
“This is a lot of fun,” Stacy said.
The firefighters and police officers raised $2,450.45 in the event, which ran for six hours.
“I’m thankful for all of the people who have supported us for this fundraiser,” said Felicia Urioste, co-owner of Mr. Twist and coordinator of the fundraiser.
There was also entertainment.
“We had farm horses, pony rides and bouncy houses,” Urioste said. “We had the clowns and face painting. The Sweet N’ Sour band was awesome.”
Local band Sweet N’ Sour performed at the fundraiser. The band included Greg and Christa Barnett, Chris Buckley and Eric Hendrickson. Greg Barnett, who grew up in Granite City, is the lead guitarist. His wife, Christa, is the lead singer.
“We try to perform a variety, so it’s something for everybody,” Christa said. “We do everything from old school, Loretta Lynn all the way up to No Doubt. If you like other kinds of music, we do everything from the Foo Fighters all the way to Elvis Presley. So we try to play everything for everybody. Our goal is to go out and have a good time with people and get them dancing and let them have a good time.”
Christa said she’s happy that she and her band got an opportunity to perform at the fundraiser.
“This is an unbelievable place to play,” she said. “I’ve gone to Mr. Twist ever since I was a little kid in diapers. Coming here and playing for their Guns and Hoses benefit and my kids coming here, it’s kind of like we’ve come full circle.”
Mr. Twist, 2649 Madison Ave., opened in 1977. In 2013, ice cream parlor staff members came up with an idea to let the Granite City firefighters and police officers have a fundraiser.
“We’ve been here for 38 years and the firemen and police have been very dear to us,” said Felix Urioste, one of the owners of Mr. Twist. “This was something that we thought we could do for the community to get together.”